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Your Teeth Are Not Tools

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Every profession has its share of unusual client or patient “situations”. Our practice has treated broken molars because people used their teeth to remove a bent construction staple or nail. We’ve seen notches on front teeth from years of nail biting. Something similar happens when hairdressers hold bobby pins with their teeth. Multiple patients have lost a front filling or chipped a tooth because they repeatedly open potato chip bags with their teeth. Patients that routinely chew on ice often develop micro-fractures that may cause sensitivity. Then, of course, there’s tackle football without helmets. I hope you see a pattern here.

In a 1994 study, published in PubMed, scientists calculated that adult males exert up to 256 pounds of pressure on their first molars when they bite down. Females are slightly less. There have been many studies of this kind, discerning the roll of muscles versus the shape of teeth in the biting process. If you want to be amazed, look up “Muscles of Mastication” on the Internet. Their design, which enables the proper alignment of your lower jaw both up and down and side to side, is remarkable.

We take our teeth, tongue, and jaws for granted. If everyone spent a month observing patients in my office, they wouldn’t.

Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.